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My blog friend over at Half Girl Half Teacup posted today about a common concern of bloggers, best summarized by “Who’s reading this stuff anyway?” We want people to read our words. We’ve put a little piece of our soul into each post. Sometimes, we want to share some pretty deep and intense thoughts or recollections, and when moved by that spirit, we can sometimes feel stifled by the fact that our family, friends, in-laws and co-workers might be reading these words. I’ve shared some personal things about depression, family, parenthood, divorce, loss, and love. I’ve shared pain and poetry. I’ve shared some of my skeletons.

IMG_5242
Weld County, Colorado.

There’s more I want to share, and sometimes I hesitate. I hesitate because I fear the judgement of people who know me. If they really know me, they know that what I share, what I have experienced has helped me become who I am. We are not who we were in our pasts; we are shaped by our past experiences, and by our past choices, wise or otherwise. In blogs, we hang our skeletons on fenceposts, and let whoever drives by see, stop, ponder. That road is public – it might be our own driveway, or it might be an inaccessible trail at the back of beyond. Anyone who finds it can see those bones. As I commented on Jess’ post, there is no shame in my life, my past (remarkable and regretful as some of it is), or my thoughts – no shame in me. So there’s no reason for anyone NOT to see my words, to see those bones. If they judge in some negative fashion, that speaks about them, not about me. My bones are out there, brightening in the sun.

Quote of the day: “Every heart has its own skeletons.” —  Leo Tolstoy

Daily gratitudes:
The graphics on the 1st Bank display downtown
A stubborn cricket outside the back door
MKL
The promise of bacon
An orange glow at sunset

On Regrets

I once gave you a two-headed coin
to protect you from fates that hurt you.

Now, you choose to hurt me with your words,
again
And I am thrown into the River Styx,
again.

I do not want to be here,
again,
trying to breathe.

I hope the ferryman
will accept that coin as payment.

Please ask him to take care
not hit me with his oars
as you pass by
for I have been hurt
enough.

My niece graduated from college yesterday.  It is a strange feeling to see someone whom you held in your arms when she was only hours old make this giant step into the world of adulthood.  It makes you feel your own age most acutely.  Especially since she is graduating from the same university from which I graduated 26 years ago. 

Watching her ceremony made me remember my own graduation day, which had its tribulations and triumphs.  Of course, hers did as well.  It was held in an intimate outdoor amphitheatre, which, weather-wise, is a fairly safe bet in Colorado in May.  But this year, our weather has been exceptional – cold and rainy even now, when usually we’re basking in the 80s.  Sure enough, just before the ceremony started, so did the chilly rain, pouring down necks and backs in rivers.  The family had been smart enough to bring a few umbrellas to loan out.  Kelsea, in her ongoing efforts to acclimate to the climate of Wales and Ireland, just decided to get wet, until someone forced a makeshift rain hat on her head, constructed out of plastic that formerly covered an orchid corsage.

The speakers were unable to have microphones due to the rain, and it was hard to hear them over the thump of raindrops on dozens of umbrellas.  While most students dressed for the occasion, I was amazed to see some in untucked T-Shirts, baseball caps and ratty blue jeans.  I’d think the event called for a bit more effort.  And some of the skirts were so short that they came all the way up to the “zatch”, as my Mother used to say.  I kept waiting for someone to turn an ankle in their 3- and 4-inch heels as they negotiated the stairs, the stage and the stairs. 

The Director of Student Services hugged every single graduate, which was a nice touch, but had I been her, I wouldn’t have been chewing gum the entire time.   I guess propriety is dead and buried in an unmarked roadside grave.

Walking back through campus to the truck, I felt myself 21 again.  I have spent so much time on college campuses in my life that they feel like home.  Since I always worked so much in my junior and senior years, I didn’t spend any time just hanging out in the quad – I don’t think I ever lay on the grass in the sun and studied. 

So my memories of my time on this particular campus are thin and few.  I regret that.  I wish I had embraced the college culture more.  But I didn’t have the time to play.  I just had time to work and to study.  Until now, that’s about all I’ve ever had time to do.  Now, I have a chance to embrace life.  Just like my niece does.  In our own ways, we’re both starting new chapters in our lives.

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